Preparations for £20m Station to commence
On site preparations for the £20m development of Northampton Railway Station will start at the end of this week. From Sunday 21 October to Thursday 25 October, there will be an archaeological evaluation within the footprint of the new station building.
In medieval times Northampton Castle was situated on part of the current station site. However, it is believed that most remains were destroyed and displaced over time as the railway was developed. Led by experts from Northamptonshire Archaeology, an exploratory trench will be excavated within the area currently used for short-stay car parking.
There will be minimal disruption to station users, with no changes to routes into or out of the station. A small section of the short stay car park, comprising around 4 spaces, will be closed to traffic and pedestrians.
Chris Garden, Director of Regeneration at West Northamptonshire Development Corporation said “Clearly, it is very important that the development of Northampton Station respects the rich history and heritage of the site. The archaeological assessment is a key step in our preparations and will help to inform how we deliver the new and improved station.”
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “It is great to see work starting on another Northampton Alive project that will provide facilities our town needs. Northampton is Alive with opportunity. The investment being made in redeveloping our station is another vote of confidence that we are supporting businesses, creating new jobs and investment opportunities.”
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council Cllr Jim Harker said: “The new station is central to the work to generate economic growth in Northampton and indeed Northamptonshire as a whole, and the County Council is pleased to be able to play a pivotal role in bringing it forward. While its redevelopment is critical in helping kick-start our economy it is also an opportunity to really explore and better understand the rich heritage of this site. We can utilise the new development of the station as not just a physical gateway to the town but also a place to showcase the heritage of the Castle site and the town as a whole.”
Located in the Northampton Enterprise Zone, the new railway station will be almost twice the size of the existing building, which is already at capacity during peak hours. The detailed design will be finalised this year, with main construction works due to commence in 2013 and complete in 2014.
In the longer term, there are plans for a potential 1270 space multi-storey car park and a 28,000 sqm commercial development on the remainder of the site. However, they are subject to securing funding and development partners in future. There will be additional archaeological assessments as and when these later phases of development are delivered.